MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Unclear when efforts to remove homeless camp outside Seattle City Hall will resume

Mar 4, 2022, 1:59 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm

Removal homeless camp Seattle...

A homeless camp in downtown Seattle. (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

Nearly two weeks ago, workers arrived at a homeless encampment outside Seattle City Hall to remove tents from the area. But after those efforts were blocked for days by the presence of a local advocacy group, it’s now unclear when the removal will resume.

‘We’re here to stay’: Activists continue to block removal of Seattle homeless camp

The camp is located on Fourth Avenue between James and Columbia, where the city posted a notice of removal on Friday, Feb. 18. After the notice was posted, activists with a group known as Stop the Sweeps Seattle organized mutual aid volunteers to “show up and push back,” holding the area for hours and refusing to allow city workers in to remove tents.

The group maintained its presence for the days that followed, vowing to remain in the area until shelter and services were offered to those living in the encampment.

The initial plan from the city was to clear the camp without prior outreach, with Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office noting at the time that there is “no requirement for offers of shelter when an encampment is creating an obstruction.” Removing any camps that aren’t deemed to be obstructing public rights of way requires the presence of outreach workers to offer shelter and services, although a vast majority of encampment removals in Seattle do not qualify under the city’s guidelines.

Coalition of businesses to put $10 million into Seattle homeless outreach

But after the arrival of below-freezing temperatures last week, removal efforts for the city hall camp were paused while outreach workers were sent out to offer “connections to services and shelter,” facilitating three referrals to enhanced shelter spaces. At the time, a spokesperson for Mayor Harrell indicated that the removal would resume once the weather-driven pause on removals was lifted.

Volunteers with Stop the Sweeps have remained at the encampment this week to offer mutual aid services. Meanwhile, Mayor Harrell’s office clarified on Friday that while the camp remains “on the list for resolution,” the city is not prepared to publicize a date for when removal efforts might resume. Subsequent outreach to unhoused individuals in the area is “ongoing” in the meantime.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Yin May suffered severe injuries when she was hit by a driver in Kent....

Julia Dallas

Deputies searching for person who hit, nearly killed woman in Kent

King County deputies are looking for the person who almost killed a woman in Kent in a hit-and-run on Sunday.

36 minutes ago

Photo: Snohomish County bus....

Bill Kaczaraba

Attacks against area Community Transit drivers on the rise

Community Transit drivers in Snohomish County face a growing threat from violent passengers. Two drivers have been attacked recently.

54 minutes ago

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle is parked outside Lumen Field in Seattle....

Steve Coogan

Report: Seattle officer fired after previous racist comments surfaced

A Seattle Police Department officer was fired for calling his neighbor racist and sexist slurs and making other comments in 2022.

2 hours ago

Image: Supreme Court Police officers stand on duty outside of the Supreme Court building in Washing...

Associated Press

Supreme Court upholds gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a federal gun control law that is intended to protect victims of domestic violence.

6 hours ago

Photo: Woodland Park Zoo's Batu is expecting....

Julia Dallas

Local zoo animals become mothers for the first time

Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium both have news! Two animals are experiencing motherhood for the first time.

20 hours ago

Photo: Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson....

James Lynch

Auburn Officer Jeff Nelson’s fate now in hands of jury

It has been five years since Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson shot and killed 26-year-old Jesse Sarey who was going through a crisis.

20 hours ago

Unclear when efforts to remove homeless camp outside Seattle City Hall will resume